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Report | August 2016

First stretch warp-knitted textile from Tencel(®) yarn

With its special collection based on Tencel lyocell fibre, LE Textile GmbH is offering a soft, supple handle, the typical look of a natural-fibre product, and outstanding comfort. These soft fabrics also offer advantages for the environment. LE Textile has focused on the environmental aspects in its use of materials and production processes.

LE Textile has been known for some time on the market under its old name of Elastic Textile Europe. This company, which is based in Neukirchen, produces stretch fabrics and lace for lingerie, swimwear and sportswear. Products produced by LE Textile are also used in the medical sector and industry, e.g.: in the automotive sector. This warp knitting specialist has many years of experience and a history of dynamic development – strengths that it has brought to its association with the Lauma Fabrics Group. Since 2013, the company has belonged to this Latvian-based manufacturer, and is now known as LE Textile. The Lauma Fabrics Group fully supports the ecological ethos of its German subsidiary.

In 2006, Elastic Textile Europa, as it was then known, developed a stretch-knitted fabric from eco-cotton and the elastomer, Dorlastan Type V550, which was awarded the Cradle to Cradle Certificate of the EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency). Triumph was involved in the subsequent processing stages. This making-up company produced the first, and so far, the only recyclable bra, which attracted the interest of the public at the Nutec trade fair in November 2008 in Frankfurt, when a film was also shown: “cradle to cradle. Nie mehr Müll – Leben ohne Abfall” (Cradle to Cradle. No More Rubbish – Life Without Waste). The year 2014 saw the next phase of the development, when Lenzing’s Tencel fibres were used instead of eco-cotton. The first prototype was premiered at Interfilière in Paris in July 2014, and other production-ready products were shown at the next Interfilière in January 2015.

Many conversations were held at these fairs concerning the collections made from Tencel. “We were showing something completely new with these fabrics, which stimulated the interest of the visitors we met,” explained Harald Mai, the Director of Development at LE Textile.

This experienced warp-knitting specialist gathered many new ideas from these conversations, which he incorporated into the further development of the Tencel collection. The results of his work are clear to see. The fabrics made from Tencel were being shown in the showroom at the recent Fabric Start exhibition in Munich in February of this year. They were one of the reasons why many of the visitors, who were particularly interested in their environmentally friendly features, paid a visit to Lauma’s stand.

Lace raschel machines and high-speed raschel machines in the RSE series are used to produce the extremely comfortable, environmentally friendly fabrics made from Tencel fibres. Top-quality spun yarns having first-rate mechanical properties are used. These ensure that fibre fly does not cause any problems during processing.

The previously used Dorlastan Type V550 elastomer, was used to provide elasticity in the sustainably produced warp-knitted textiles. This product from Asahi Kasei was granted the Environmental Compatibility Certificate by the Hohenstein Laboratories in November 2013. A special line in the collection also contains polyamide to ensure that the fabrics can mould to the body.

The following types of fabrics can be produced from the yarns: smooth, two-way-stretch fabrics having a dense surface and soft handle, produced on an RSE raschel machine in a gauge of E 28 lightweight, all-over-patterned lace produced on a lace raschel machine in a gauge of E 24; tulle having two different performance profiles, depending on the percentage of elastane used, and exhibiting a distinct, natural look, also produced on an RSE raschel machine in a gauge of E 28; raschel-knitted fabrics with geometric patterns and two-colour effects produced by the package dyeing of polyamide and Tencel fabrics with a ribbed construction on the surface and two-way stretch, produced on an RSE 5 EL in a gauge of E 28.

“Beautiful living” is topical again

Pile velour is right on-trend – with the new furnishing fabrics produced on the HKS 4 P EL. Furnishing fabrics with fleecy surfaces are right on-trend, especially in Turkey. Manufacturers there are reacting to the increased demand by producing stylish, warp-knitted textiles and completely new types of fabrics. They are produced on e.g. four-bar tricot machine as a flat fabric and then raised to give them a velvety feel – an efficient way of producing this type of fabric, but not the only one! As well as producing velour by a raising process, it is also possible to produce voluminous fabrics with a soft and cuddly feel by producing textiles which have pile loops and then shearing them.

The HKS 4 P EL is ideal for this purpose. This high-speed tricot machine operates with a pile sinker bar which, together with the EL pattern drive, produces attractive designs, which are easy to work. The collection of cushion covers shown here, which were produced by KARL MAYER, illustrates some of the possibilities.

Ground guide bar 1 was not used on the HKS 4 P E to produce the warp-knitted fabric with the geometrical design. The other bars, working with textured polyester, produced an attractive high/low sculptured effect. GB 4 produced the dense, uniform ground with a closed tricot lapping. Combining fancy threading, lapping and two-coloured yarns, GB 2 and GB 3 produced wavy and zigzag lines, checks, simple stripes or hearts, which rise up three-dimensionally from the surface of the due to the use of a pile bar.

A contrasting look is produced, which offers a huge potential for imitating burnout looks. The geometrical velour designs, as well as other patterns, can be produced more easily by using the pile sinker than when producing velour fabrics by raising the underlaps. The pile layer is also higher. The loops in the pile velour are usually 2 to 3 mm high. In general, the aim is to produce a small pile loop with a steep radius in the head to minimise waste during the shearing process.

With its new furnishing fabric collection, KARL MAYER’s aim is to help pile-patterned velour fabrics to make a comeback. “The patterned, velvet-like textiles have become established as seat covers especially in the automotive sector. Velour fabrics were particularly popular in the 1980s, but had all-over, uniform pile layers then.

We are hoping that our fabrics, with their three-dimensional velour designs, will inspire home textile producers to come up with some completely new product ideas,” says Jürgen Wohlrab, a product developer specialising in textile technology at KARL MAYER, when speaking about the aims of his latest work.

With final fabric weights of between 310 and 440 g/m2, the new pile velour fabrics are too lightweight for use as upholstery fabrics without being laminated, and they are also too transparent. But as furnishing fabrics, such as cushion covers, these attractive, fleecy textiles, with their striking relief patterns, can be used to inject new life into the home. Jürgen Wohlrab also has the clothing sector in his sights. This textile developer has produced a fabric containing viscose for producing burnout looks for use in high-end fashion wear. He is also planning to modify the ground. Tulle-like constructions in the ground should lead to the development of completely new fabrics for the market.

Lale Mefrusat: Setting the trend

Anyone searching for stylish home textiles needs to look no further than the wide range of products on offer from the Turkish textile sector. The fabrics produced in this country, which borders the Near East and Southern Europe, are characterised by their modern designs and exceptional quality. One of the most creative and experienced among the many manufacturers is Lale Mefrusat.

This company was set up in 1968 by Bülent Kocamaz to supply textiles in Istanbul. Over the years that followed, this entrepreneur expanded his company continuously and focused his production capacity on manufacturing premium products. Lale Mefrusat also concentrated on offering a wide range of products and rapidly changing collections. On an area of 33,000 m2, 16,000 m2 of it being the production area; 25 million m2 of high-end textiles are currently being produced every year for the clothing industry and home textiles sector. 70% of production is exported – mainly to Europe and America, as well as to the Near and Far East. The designers and textile developers in the company create between 300 and 350 new designs every six months.

To meet its strict quality requirements, Lale Mefrusat relies on using top-quality yarns and KARL MAYER’s high-speed raschel machines. The first machines produced in Germany were shipped to Istanbul in 1991. This innovative production technology was accompanied by the decision to specialise in the production of modern net curtains and stylish lingerie. In 2004, the plant was modernised by the acquisition of the JACQUARDTRONIC Lace range of machines. Additional raschel machines, which were always state-of-the-art machines, followed.

The JACQUARDTRONIC® fabrics produced by this manufacturer are following the current trend in the net curtain sector for all-over patterns featuring classic, romantic designs with opulent, bourdon cord liners. When speaking about the success of their collections, the Chief Executive, Levent Kocamaz, explained, “The lace fabrics, with their three-dimensional bourdon designs, are extremely popular amongst our customers. The feedback on the collection we were showing in Frankfurt was extremely promising. But we are also delighted at the high demand from the clothing sector, thanks to the continuing trend for using bourdon cord lace to create stylish dresses, skirts and blouses.”

The JL 65/1 B FASHION can process yarns having a count of up to 3,250 dtex, which means that this innovative lace raschel machine is able to exceed the usual limit of 1,500 dtex. The vein-like liners create structure in the surface and produce a fabric with a heavy drape.

Suki: An expert in top rollers

Incorporated in 2015, Suki Texparts Pvt Ltd is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Sanmit Card Clothing India Pvt Ltd, which has established itself as a leading card clothing spares manufacturing company. Suki is into manufacturing complete range of top rollers including ring frame and speed frame arbors for textile mills. The range it offers includes top rollers for preparatory level like draw frame, comber detaching, comber draw box, lap former, speed frame arbors and finishing level like ring spinning arbors, Suessen compact rollers, and OE take-up rollers. The focus is on value for money -- with best engineering design, high degree of surface finish, strengthened by imported components.

Zero error manufacturing process is what keeps Suki ahead in the competition. High expertise functional teams in their respective fields have contributed to the success of these products. Quality business policy, consistent touch with the current and updated trends—both in technical and commercial matters—have put the company in the fast-growth track. Team supervises warehousing facilities, which further helps Suki in catering to bulk demands. Team norms and systems are developed for maintaining diversified portfolios with greater ease. Choice of raw material considering high heat absorption, excellent elasticity, and ultimately delivering required performance exceeding satisfactory level is behind the company’s success. Constant thirst to innovate paves way to launch new technology.

Spread around 5,000 sq ft facility, in the heart of Coimbatore, well known for its technical enterprise, Suki is well-equipped with sound infrastructural facilities for large scale manufacturing. About 100 per cent power backup, updated CNC, and cot mounting machines clubbed with testing facilities are a few to share in delivering quality products meeting global standards.

Expertise team is the company’s foundation for this project. Most experienced and innovative thinking professionals in their relevant field—be it design, production, marketing, admin, management—put all their efforts to excel. Impeccable communication patterns are developed by them with which they achieve their set organisational targets and aims for much higher production benchmarks. Further, with grievance mechanism operations, friction levels are minimised with maximised coordinating activities.

Quality assurance is one of the basic criteria Suki demands from its vendors. Stringent checks with regard to their machining capabilities and, inspection facility are made, before the company partners with them. Audits are done in regular intervals to maintain consistency. Wide vendor base strategy is one of the factors for continuous product delivery.

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